How do I say no when everyone needs me?

Learning to make it safe to get help and focus on yourself and strategies for saying no.

A panel session focused on the art of saying NO, the value of connecting to all kinds of therapy and asking for and receiving support for yourself and also strategies for connecting others to the support that’s available too. 

There will also be an opportunity for meeting other rural women in the session and making connections in small group/break-out sessions where you can share your unique strategies for saying now and getting help!

Panel Members

  1. Dimity Smith (DPI)
  2. Catherine Marriott (Bushfire Recovery) 
  3. Dr Kylie Bennett (Moodgym – Online Mental Self-Help)
  4. Shanna Whan (Sober in the Country)

About The Panelists

Dimity Smith

Dimity is a registered psychologist and rural women’s advocate based just outside of Moree, working for the DPI as a Project Officer within the Rural Women’s Network team. Dimity’s family are dairy farmers from Scone and, as a result, she has always been hugely passionate about rural, regional and remote agricultural communities and ensuring they are sustainable and thriving. After having her own founder business journeys with women’s networking and events businesses Savvy Birds and GRO Events, Dimity transitioned from her psychology career in occupational rehabilitation, WHS, HR & private practice to the world of women’s events, innovation and startups. For the past 12 years, Dimity has worked across Tamworth, Armidale, Moree, the Hunter and the NENW, helping individuals and businesses with mental health, injury management and innovation. Most recently Dimity completed an innovation role with the University of New England’s SMART Region Incubator to support startup founders in their goals to create successful scaling businesses from rural, regional and remote areas.

Catherine Marriott

Over the last 15 years, Catherine has worked in management, strategic and leadership roles in the agricultural, research and regional development sectors in Australia and internationally. Catherine is UNE’s 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award winner, a graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership Program, a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and was the 2012 WA Rural Women of the Year. In her spare time, Catherine loves cycling, horse riding, travel and exploring the outback. She is also passionate about finding a cure for cancer and has raised over $100,000 to put towards research, education programs and patient support.

Dr Kylie Bennett

Kylie is the Managing Director of e-hub Health which delivers automated, evidence-based online self-help programs for mental health. The programs include moodgym, a cognitive behaviour therapy training program with over 1 million registered users worldwide ( Kylie has personally experienced depression and anxiety and is passionate about empowering individuals to manage their mental health through quality and accessible resources. She works with organisations around the world to provide access to online self-help programs. Read about free self-help programs for Australians at

Shanna Whan

Shanna  is the creator, founder, and CEO of national charity Sober in the Country Ltd. She describes herself as a regular girl from the country with a story that’s actually very, very common. Her two-decade descent from trauma that took her from hiding behind a ‘party-girl persona’ and finally into alcoholism would end up becoming her life’s work. She is now almost six years happily recovered and advocates for others. She is very up-front to say she is nothing more than a garden variety recovered alcoholic – like many all over the country; but that she made the choice to speak publicly and candidly about the truth of alcohol addiction in rural Australia and the often insurmountable challenges of overcoming addiction in permanent isolation where anonymity is not possible and where she believes an entire demographic is being wilfully overlooked by our national health leaders.

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